The has been credited with that addition. Docherty died on Thanksgiving at his home in central Pennsylvania, at the age of 97.
In 1952, Docherty, then pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, gave a sermon in 1952 saying the pledge should acknowledge God, to little effect. However, on Feb. 7, 1954, knowing President Eisenhower was to be in attendance (the church is just blocks from the White House), he gave it again.
Docherty spoke to Eisenhower following the sermon, and the next day, February 8, 1954, Rep. Charles Oakman (R-Mich.), introduced a bill to add the text to the Pledge. A companion bill was later introduced in the Senate.
Eisenhower signed the bill into law on Flag Day, June 14, 1954.
Recently several lawsuits have been filed to remove the term from the Pledge, in particular by Michael Newdow, an atheist. He also wants "In God We Trust" removed from U.S. currency (just what we need, more money wasted in the budget).
The original Pledge, as written by Bellamy, even without the inclusion of "Under God," reads somewhat differently that now:
"I Pledge Allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."The current Pledge reads:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for all."